Drawing a Day

Over the past few months, I have started to use the library more and more and hence, I get a lot of library receipts when I borrow or return things. The more sensible of you might say that I should stop printing out these extra receipts. But I came up with the idea of drawing my sister a drawing every day in a bid to recycle them. I don’t proclaim myself to be an artist or indeed interesting, some of these drawings border on boringness, but it is an exercise that I intend to keep up for some amount of time. You will notice that I have had to resort to line paper on some days, I could not find any library receipts yet I wanted to keep the drawing-a-day up. I will publish them on a weekly basis.

Check out www.chocolatedigestivebiscuit.blogspot.com for Week 1’s drawings!

Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake

Made this at the weekend, a rich,creamy cheesecake with a slight flavour of white chocolate.

Ingredients:
300g white chocolate
50g melted butter
225g digestive biscuit crumbs (recipe called for chocolate digestives but I prefer plain)
150ml soured dairy cream
400g cream cheese
1tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs lightly beaten

Recipe:
1. Add melted butter to digestive biscuit crumbs and combine well. Press into springform loose-bottomed cake tin, ideally 18cm diameter.
2. Melt white chocolate, and then add cream cheese, soured dairy cream, vanilla essence and eggs.
3. Pour onto biscuit base on level out on top
4. Bake in pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 3/160 C for 1 hour, until cheesecake is firm to touch.
5. Take out of oven, leave to cool in tin, and then eat and enjoy!

This is an easy to follow recipe and the cheesecake tasted great!

Only Fools and Hroses US remake?

It’s been announced that the makers of the hit comedy Scrubs are to remake the classic British sitcom but is this is a good idea? Take Teachers. In its heyday it was a prime example of great characters, great dialogue and great drama/subtle comedy. The US turned it into a “funny” family friendly 30mins episodes, devoid of any unique appeal and with canned laughter thrown into the mix. Life on Mars was inventive storytelling at its best, and the US transformed this by taking the title literally, the big twist being that the cast were actually on a spaceship to Mars! This is so absurd and robs the original drama of its cleverness in its story. Yet there have been some successes, The Office US, starring Steve Carell, has been a big hit, so maybe there is hope for OFAH US, altho i can’t see how it would translate into America quite as yet…

The Sweetest Taboo – Carole Matthews

The Sweetest Taboo follows Sadie, for whom life hasn’t turned out the way she expected. Life is pretty bad for Sadie until she meets Gill, an American movie producer. After one date, they become smitten with each other but are separated when Gill returns to America the next day. Soon, he is offering her a ticket to LA to be with him but can they be together properly? This is no Hollywood happy ending and there are many obstacles, namely in the form of Gill’s soon-to-be ex-wife Gina. Sadie later meets the handsome actor Tavis, who she assumes is gay but becomes increasingly attracted to him. How can she work out what she wants?
This book was really funny and the development and characterisation of Sadie was really well done. She is a character who is very likeable and real, with a good sense of humour that the reader wants her to find a happy ending. Matthews manages to strike the right balance of tones ranging from happy to romantic to sad.

Yet Gill never comes across as a credible rival for Sadie’s love – he is too materialistic and selfish, and doesn’t seem to put her first, and continously panders to Gina’s neediness and crazy antics. It is strange as to why Sadie agonizes over the choice, between Gil & the handsome, caring Tavis, it’s really no contest! However, this book was a fun and enjoyable to read, following Sadie’s journey in LA, with a fantastic ending!

Andy Murray loses the Australian Open Semi-Final 2012

And yet again, Murray loses and his bid for grand slam glory is over. Sure the match between Djokovic had moments of great potential. Murray was leading 2-1 before Djokovic rained all over his parade and looked certain to clinch an easy win in the 6th set before Murray made an inspired comeback, only to lose again. Typical isn’t it…every year we have our hopes raised that maybe a Brit can clinch the grand slam crown only to lose it when they stutter on the court. I guess we should be used to it by now – e.g. Tim Henman, but it gets frustrating, especially as Murray as a great talent for tennis. The problem is that he can’t capitalise on this to win a grand slam, especially as there are 3 better players that he can’t seem to beat to get glory. Every year, Murray loses in a grand slam and tennis commentators say that it was the best match he has played and he will go on to win other grand slams – but this has been occurring for a while. I would like to see British success in tennis, but I don’t think it will come in the form of Andy Murray. I don’t think he can win a Grand Slam so long as Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are still playing, and by the time they retire or their game weakens, I don’t think Murray will still be playing the same fantastic standard of tennis as he does today. I guess we have to look to the future for the next British hopeful, with James Ward’s success in 2011 and Laura Robson being touted as one to watch for the future, or maybe resign ourselves to British failure at tennis.

Jon Richardson – It’s Not Me, It’s You

Jon Richardson, the popular comedian who has graced our tv screens on STAND UP FOR THE WEEK & 8 OUT OF 10 CATS, presents his view on relationships. It’s quite a cynical take on love but that makes it all the more funny and real. However, things soon change when he meets Gemma but can he find a way to pursue love. The book takes you on a great journey as he prepares to meet Gemma and along the way he describes events that happen to him in a comical fashion. It was also interesting to read Richardson’s overthinking about what to do and the anxiety and confusion over Gemma. I hoped for a happy ending, so the book didn’t end as i would’ve like it to have done, but there is no denying the comedian’s talent for writing and the book was a great read. I look forward to Richardson releasing more books in the future.

Dancing On Ice

Similar to Strictly Come Dancing (and a lot like the SCD on ice special), for the past few years, ITV have tried to create the same success with Dancing On Ice. Does it measure up to the giant that it is SCD? Well, it has consistently high ratings, although one could argue that there isn’t much competition in the Sunday evening slot. I feel that the format itself however has flaws. With SCD you have the different styles of dance and techniques, providing variety with each dance. With DOI, you only have skating…skating fast or slow. It feels like there is no structure, we just watch skating performances that are no different to any others. The judges on SCD are infinitely better – with the acerbic wit of Craig Revel Horwood, the traditional and granddad-like Len Goodman and the craziness of Bruno Tonoli. Compare that to DOI and you see that the judging panel doesn’t really match up. This year, Louis Spence has made an improvement to the panel – bringing personality and his experience in dance to the show, but overall, the ice panel just doesn’t sparkle. Katerina Witt was particular horrible saying that one skater should never attempt lifts because she is a “big girl”, which is completely unfair, and lifts are part of the skating routines. They are the parts that wins over the audience, no celebrity would ever win because they skate around the stage for 2 minutes. Christine Bleakly doesn’t suit the presenting role to DOI – she doesn’t have the same chemistry with Schofield that Holly Willoughby used to have with him, and she often looks uncomfortable on screen.

DOI will continue to be a ratings success for ITV for a few years to come but it just doesn’t match up to SCD. It feels like a poor man’s version of the BBC extravaganza. There are some talented skaters in Matthew Wolfenden, Jorgie Porter, and Sebastien Moran (with his rolling around on the ice) but it lacks the spark that SCD has.